When I first began exploring the radical, scandalous, and often controversial theological position that God may in the end save everyone I was quickly, in short order, provided with all the scriptural reasons why this cannot and will not be the case. There are indeed many texts that would seem to suggest a limited salvation and a heaven with limited population without traffic woes. Many of these passages which restrict God’s universal salvation come from the book of Revelation. They are perhaps the most explicit and most dire in language and therefore make for good fodder if not succeeding in bringing all discussion on the matter to an abrupt halt. In the following paper I wish to discuss the two most compelling passages in Revelation that damn any hope of universal salvation. We will look at them through the eyes of a few interpreters, scholars from a wide array of theological moorings. By doing this it will be evident that there is room for honest disagreement here. Following a brief survey of these two passages I will suggest how these might relate to the many other passages which suggest the exact opposite – that God does indeed intend to save all of creation (passages that detractors of universal salvation rarely cite). What does Revelation as a whole tell us about God’s ultimate plan for the universe? That is a question worth a lifetime of reflection.
Can he do it folks?
I do have a problem with his statement here:
Unlike Mounce and others (LaHaye, etc) who see Revelation as providing doctrine, Caird, Boring and J.P. Sweet warn against using John’s prophetic imagery to construe a black and white world.
I tend to think it highly suspect when you lump Mounce in with the kind of garbage LeHaye puts out. I’m not saying that Chad is doing this on purpose, if placing LeHaye next to Mounce taints Mounce a bit. Further, whether you are using Revelation to promote hell, eschatology, the Gospel (my favorite), or universalism, you are using it for doctrine, even if you say you aren’t.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting read.